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Started: 2010-03-06 11:44:39

Submitted: 2010-03-06 12:27:12

Visibility: World-readable

All adventures need soundtracks, though shorter adventures can often make do with a theme song. There's no way a theme song would work for my now-underway trip to India, so I spent some quality time going through my music library assembling a playlist. I started with theme songs for each city or town I'll visit, and filled in music to set the mood, creating a two-and-a-half-hour version of my ten-day trip. The playlist:

  1. Eve6: "Rescue" (theme song for driving to the airport)
  2. Death Cab for Cutie: "I will possess your heart"
  3. Moby: "We are all made of stars"
  4. The Decemberists: "Sleepless"
  5. Enigma: "Mea culpa part II (orthodox version)" (theme song for Delhi)
  6. Richard Strauss: "Also sprach Zarathusra"
  7. The Beatles: "Love you too"
  8. Paul McCartney: "Beautiful Night"
  9. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: "Runaway"
  10. Phoenix: "Love like a sunset (parts I and II)" (theme song for Guwahati)
  11. Third Eye Blind: "The Background"
  12. Enigma: "The child in us" (theme song for Bagendoba)
  13. The New Pornographers: "Adventures in solitude"
  14. Yanni: "In the morning light"
  15. Neutral Milk Hotel: "The king of carrot flowers (part I)"
  16. TV on the Radio: "Shout me out"
  17. "Clubbed to death", from the soundtrack for The Matrix
  18. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: "Hysteric"
  19. U2: "Where the streets have no name"
  20. The Beatles: "The long and winding road" (theme song for Hill Cart Road)
  21. Enigma: "Communion" (theme song for Darjeeling)
  22. Heidi Enderson: "Reflections"
  23. The Beatles: "Within you without you"
  24. Claude Bolling: "Intime"
  25. BT: "Content"
  26. The Beatles: "Let it be"
  27. Alanis Morissette: "Still"
  28. U2: "City of Blinding Lights" (second theme song for Delhi)
  29. Enigma: "Following the Sun" (theme song for my flight home)
  30. Alanis Morissette: "Thank U"
  31. BT: "Satellite"
  32. Robert Miles: "Red Zone"

The playlist isn't perfect -- some of the cuts are more abrupt than they should be, and I didn't spend any time trying to blend the transitions. (Had I actually edited any of the tracks to fit the playlist, rather than simply concatenating full songs, I would have chopped off the first ten seconds of "We are all made of stars" and the end of "The child in us".) Many of the songs on this list have deeper personal or historic meanings; "Rescue" instantly became my road-trip anthem when I first heard it in summer 2000, and my first experience with many of these songs date from the Commune Era a decade ago. "Beautiful Night" may have the strangest connection to India; I remember listening to Flaming Pie in the summer of 1998 while playing Civilization II, with the house closed and dark in the hot afternoon in a desperate attempt to keep the summer heat at bay, and hearing news reports on NPR of India and Pakistan's back-to-back nuclear tests as my mother prepared dinner.

I spent much of my free time this week working on the final preparations for my trip. On Wednesday, I made one last stop at REI to pick up chlorine dioxide water purification tablets, and beta-tested the tablets on Thursday. The water could have been worse, but it failed to live up to my high standards with its vague chemical taste. I figure if Willy can handle self-chlorinated water I can probably handle it too. I did laundry Thursday night and put Calvin to bed while Kiesa packed, then packed my own clothing and went shopping on my shelves for paperbacks to take for in-flight reading. On Friday, Kiesa and Calvin flew to Portland to visit Kiesa's mother; they'll return home the day before I do. I tried desperately to document my current state at work so my coworkers can take care of things in my absence and I can recover my state when I return. I bid my office farewell and headed home to finish packing and watch The Darjeeling Limited, which may not resemble India in any meaningful way, but it was amusing. I didn't get to bed as early as I had hoped, and slept fitfully before my alarm finally woke me up.